June 21, 2012 / 8:06 AM / 5 years ago

UPDATE 1-SocGen cuts British Land, Land Securities to sell

2 Min Read

June 21 (Reuters) - The UK property market faces the largest funding gap in Europe and retail rental values are suffering in a slowing economy, Societe Generale said, downgrading four major UK real estate companies to "sell."

SocGen downgraded British Land Co Plc, Land Securities Group Plc, Derwent London Plc and Great Portland Estates Plc to "sell".

"Retail rental values in the UK now face the triple whammy of multiple retailer failures, relentless internet competition, and a retrenchment among UK shoppers," SocGen said.

With about 3,000 stores already affected by retailer administrations this year, 2012 is on track to be "another 2008-2009" when about 6,200 stores were hit per year, it said.

"While we do not believe we are in another property bubble, we do see the property price correction continuing over 2012-13," SocGen said, noting that all property prices fell in May for the sixth consecutive month at an annualised rate of 4 percent.

Socgen said it prefers Continental Europe to UK as it sees real estate assets in the euro zone to be solid due to strong rental indexation.

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